When this whole covid thing went down, I was one of those (perhaps slightly obnoxious) “living my best life” people.
I enjoyed having my husband home, slowing down, extra time for prayer, doing fun at-home projects with the kids.
Being without the Mass was hard (real hard) but we had Adoration in churches nearby!
But now, with things opening up again but *still* not being back to normal – I’m starting to feel worn down.
I’m getting tired, and somewhat complainy.
Recently, I was reflecting on the things that I find challenging right now – masks, shopping, bringing the kids to Mass, balancing other people’s comfort zones – and I just felt weary.
But then I started thinking about…
- St. Paul, stuck in prison, rejoicing and praising God.
- And Maximilian Kolbe, in the starvation bunker, singing hymns to Our Lady and hearing confessions.
- And Miguel Pro, facing his executioners and bravelydeclaring “Viva Cristo Rey!”
My mind flooded with stories of martyrs whose last moments on earth were filled with peace and joy!
I want that joy.
I think we’re all at least a little broken and hurting right now.
We’re all in need of a healing balm.
Last week, Annie from Pray More Novenas reminded me of her 2020 Pray More Healing Retreat – it starts August 5th! – and offered to send me a sneak peek at one of the videos.
I browsed the list of topics and I immediately knew which one I needed.
The Joy to Be: Reflections on John 15, by Damon Owens.
You guys, I ate this video up.
I nodded my head the whole time, saying “Yes, yes, this is the joy I want. This is the joy I need.”
Damon defined joy like this:
“Joy is not rooted in what we do. It’s rooted in who we are. In whose we are. And in why we exist.”– Damon Owens
The first time I experienced the gift of joy was when I was suffering from depression. I was struggling to find happiness in my life.
But there was something there inside of me that kept me pushing forward in my vocation – and it was joy. The knowledge that I was somehow loved by God, and that he desired me to live this life.
I forget, sometimes, what true joy is, and that I can have it even without the feelings of happiness.
This video by Damon Owens was the reminder I needed – that I am absolutely loved by God, who I am right now, where I am in my life, no matter what my struggles are.
I am His.
I am loved by Him.
Today, I’m going to take some time to sit and just soak in that love. To surrender the stresses of this current situation to my Creator.
To allow him into my weariness, my exhaustion, my current inconveniences and crosses.
To give him my love in return.
And to ask him to let that love blossom into the gift of joy.
I pray that, like the martyrs, I can exude joy in any circumstance, starting today.
This video has already begun bringing me healing.
And it’s just the first in a series of videos about finding joy that Damon Owens prepared for the Pray More Healing Retreat!
Damon’s series will continue with:
- The Joy to Be Loved (understanding the meaning and beauty of love)
- The Joy to be From (belonging, and being part of a family)
- The Joy to be For (the truth and reality of marriage)
You can watch all these and so much more by signing up for the Pray More Healing Retreat!
These retreats are always phenomenal, and they’re on a “pay your own price” scale.
Even if you can’t afford it right now, you can still sign up!
There’s no reason to miss this retreat – a much needed healing balm in these difficult times.
Sign up today for the Pray More Healing Retreat if you need to find joy in your life right now!